The Hidden Cost of Investing in Cheap LED Lamps

By Jeff Brain | October 11, 2016

While LED lights are one of the leading efficient lighting systems, investing in cheaply produced LEDs can negate some of the benefits of these systems, and generate additional costs. Below are a few of the unexpected ways cheap LED lamps can increase your facility’s running costs.

Repetitive Eye Strain

Cheaply produced LED lamps have a tendency to produce light that flickers intermittently. While the frequency of this flickering ranges from clearly noticeable to nearly imperceptible, it can significantly affect building occupants. As their eyes struggle to adjust to the rapid changes in brightness, this can cause repetitive eye strain and contribute to stress-induced migraines.

Negative Health Effects

Another key issue these LED lamps can face is that they generate the majority of their light in the high-blue spectrum. This may not seem like a major problem, but our bodies are extremely sensitive to the color of light they are exposed to. Overexposure to blue spectrum light tricks the body into thinking it is day, drastically reducing its production of melatonin. This can contribute to the development of both insomnia and seasonal affective disorder.

Reduced Productivity

Along with the issues mentioned above, the poor quality of light produced by cheap LED lights can negatively affect workplace productivity. While natural light creates a positive, healthy environment, dim artificial light can leave occupants tired and unfocused. The loss in productivity this creates can significantly affect a facility’s bottom line.

Loss of Intensity

LED lamps do not burn out like other lighting products, however, they do experience loss of intensity over time. The average lifespan of an LED lamp is approximately 50,000 hours. While this is impressive, some lamps produce only 80% of their original intensity after just 8,000 hours. This drastic loss of intensity can lengthen the ROI of your lighting system and increase your overall lighting costs.

To learn more about the cost effective alternatives to LED lamps, download our eBook A Comprehensive Guide to Sustainable Lighting.

(Photo: Green Energy Futures, CC.)
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